October 25, 2011

Maroons have Millikin feeling blue after four goal-blowout

In a game that was both the team’s final non-conference matchup and last road trip of the season, the Chicago women’s soccer team (8–4–2) won 4-0 at Millikin University (7–6–1) on Saturday.

The Maroons scored only one goal in the first half. In the twenty-fifth minute, third-year midfielder Brigette Kragie netted her second goal of the year to give Chicago a 1–0 lead.

“It took us a little while to figure out how to best exploit their weaknesses, but once we did we really put them away,” fourth-year goalkeeper Emma Gormley said.

In the second half, the team’s offensive outburst, similar to the one last week against NYU, led to three additional goals.

First-year defender Ellie von Storch scored the first goal of her career in the first minute of the second half. The first-years were on display in the second half, with first-year forward Meghan Derken scoring a goal, her third of the year, in the 75th minute. The youth movement finished it off with another goal from von Storch, in the 86th minute.

“I think this weekend’s game against Millikin was another good confidence builder for us, especially offensively. Putting up back to back games with big scores helps us to feel like we’re on the right track going into our final three games,” Gormley said. Gormley’s shutout was her sixth of the year.

Looking ahead to those last three games, the implications for the UAA crown and a bid to the NCAA tournament are on the players’ minds. That made it even more important that the team handled Millikin on Saturday, setting the tone to treat every game as important, even the non-conference ones.

“We’ve taken to looking at every game we have left as a must-win NCAA game,” Gormley said, affirming this mentality.

With the non-conference game now out of the way, the team can focus entirely on their three upcoming UAA opponents. If the implications themselves weren’t enough motivation, there is the added fact that the games will be taking place at home.

“Playing at home can only help us…No one likes to lose at home and that will definitely be motivating us while we’re playing,” Gormley said.

As the regular season draws to a close, fourth-years are preparing to play some of their final games ever in a Maroons uniform.

“I know for me these last three games will be extra special because, as a senior, they might be my last ones ever on our home field,” Gormley said.

The Maroons begin their slate of three straight home games against UAA opponents to finish up the season this Friday against Case Western Reserve at 5:30 p.m.